GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 1731 20th St NW

Voted one of the best real estate agents in DC by the Washington City Paper Readers’ Choice Poll in 2009, hipchickindc aka the not-so-hip Suzanne Des Marais is the Principal Broker (DC) for Urban Pace, LLC. She lives (and sells a lot of houses) in Bloomingdale, but works all over DC, with everyone from first time buyers to highly regarded developers. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 1731 20th St NW #9
Legal Subdivision: Old City #2
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Dupont
Original List Price: $289,000.
List Price at Contract: $289,000.
List Date: 02/11/2011
Days on Market: 5
Settled Sales Price: $289,000.
Settlement Date: 03/30/2011
Seller Subsidy: $0.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: Since purchasing in a cooperative is not technically buying real estate, but rather buying a share in a corporation, co-op loans are an animal unto themselves. There are a small hand full of lenders who will do them. Because the financial health of the cooperative is tied together, co-ops often have their own rules regarding a minimum down payment.

Original Good Deal or Not post is: here

The listing can be seen: here. To see pics, open the listing link, click on the listing then scroll through from the main pic.

Buildings that are cooperatively owned are plentiful in DC, so I think it is useful to take a look at them here from time to time. I had profiled this same building in October 2010 and wrote some information about what makes a co-op different from a condo.

Continues after the jump.

Most people immediately notice that the monthly fee for a co-op is higher than for a condo. Given that there is no underlying mortgage on the subject property, it’s easy to look at the break down of the monthly payment which is $352. towards building management and maintenance, insurance for the building as a whole, the water bill, and, in this case, heat and a common laundry room. What makes the monthly fee total of $508. seem so high is that the real estate taxes of $156. are included here. You would still be paying them if you were living in a condo. They typically would be paid through your mortgage company when you send in your mortgage payment, but because a co-op building is paying the entire building’s taxes at once, they are collected through the co-op. Even in the situation where there is an underlying mortgage, the mortgage taken out on the unit is adjusted to reflect that part of the debt is paid through the cooperative. Yes, it’s complicated, but overall, it’s typically not more costly per month to own a co-op vs. a condo.

Looking at recent settled sales of 1 bedroom condos within a .20 mile radius of this unit, it appears that similar units that are condo ownership are actually more expensive. It used to be that a downside of co-op ownership was more restrictive rules if you wanted to hold your unit as an investment. Now that condo associations are realizing the effects (primarily due to changes in financing regulations) of having high rental ratios, many condo are enforcing rental regulations more strictly as well.

2 Comment

  • It’s way over-priced and not worth it, cause it’s a co-op, and co-ops are terrifying and confusing money pits.

    (Okay… I’m only saying that to drive the co-op people nuts.)

    • I loved having a co-op. I understand some folks have horror stories. Not I.

      My neighbors cared about our building. We had the monthly meetings, other dinners, and coffees on the stoop. We fought the squirrels. We talked together about muggers and local crime concerns. We loved our maintenance-gardener who worked there for years. We kept our monthly fees very, very low — $210 at the most (10 years ago).

      I did have parties and I did rent it out. It was fine. Go co-ops. I bought it for a superfantastic price and sold it quickly for a great price.

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